Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I am back to work now three days now and I miss the woods. I miss the quiet, the stillness. I was lucky, I had 10 weeks to hunt as I wished and I got out a fair bit. Every day that I hunted this past fall, with the exception of a few afternoons in which I took my daughter, I hunted alone. As I think I wrote in a previous post here, a few years ago I used to go on trips by myself lasting weeks, never felt the need for much company in the woods. I guess I will get used to being back to work in a few days but I feel a bit razzed by being around so many people. Two more days until the weekend and then its back to the real world, the world of the woods and the barrens. In my last post I posted a picture of my daughter that we took Sunday. All she is talking about is getting out again this weekend. She has been bit by the bug it seems.

We were both walking quietly in the woods last Sunday and a half hour elapsed without either of us saying a word, she was walking just ahead of me and as we crested a hill she stopped and looked back at me and said " I am really starting to understand why you love this, its magic" she then looked ahead and carried on.

Can't wait for the weekend. Grouse for a month, then seaducks and icefishing for trout. Then out with the fly rod for sea trout,brook trout and salmon as the seasons march on. I have enough meat in the freezer and enough great memories to play through in my mind to get me through the winter.
Life outside is good, won't be lost for long.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Beautiful Weather

I have had fantastic weather the past week which is unusual for Newfoundland in November. I have been grouse hunting in the woods rather than ptarmigan hunting and they closed my daughters school for a few days because of mold so she has been with me in the woods. Yesterday was fantastic, she really truly loved being there and sees the beauty in it. Anyway today is a sunny cool day and I am taking my older dog up on the high ground for one last chance at the ptarmigan. I had a dead battery all week so no pictures but will post a few of todays picture this evening God willing.

That is an older picture of one of my dogs who is long gone. He was a great dog.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Well my freezer is full and I mean full. I had to get rid of some of my little girls ice cream and take some bread out of the freezer to fit in the last of the moose. There are a few more packs of sausage to go in there and Monday I will be back on the country with my dogs. My daughter is great and that makes me feel wonderful. I am going out next week for my dogs sake and will not be taking many birds as a man has to know when enough is enough. I will be home for Saturday as my little girl wants a day in the woods with her dad now that she is feeling better. She has an air rifle and a bow and she just loves hot chocolate made over an open fire out of a billy can. I didn't spend as many nights in country this year as most but I am glad to live where I do and be able to be away from everything in 20 minutes. Bring on winter I am ready

Thursday, November 12, 2009

One more week.

My daughter is well and I spent the afternoon butchering moose. I have it half done and am just finished cleaning up the grinder and sausage stuffer. I will spend the best part of tomorrow butchering as well. The butchering is not so bad but the sausage making and grinding can tend to go long. Tomorrow is Friday and when the moose is dealt with and safely in my freezer I will have one more week off for ptarmigan hunting then back to work. I will continue to hunt with the dogs on the weekends after I go back to work until the snow makes it too difficult. This can happen at anytime now. Ptarmigan closes mid December and Grouse at the end of December. My dogs are pretty crazy around the house the past few days. They get as wild as I do if I can't get to the woods. I am thinking about heading into a place called the Buchans Plateau or maybe what we call the Bay d'Espoir area for a week.Both are in central Newfoundland and are pretty remote areas. I guess the next time I post will be after I return

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Does anyone know where the love of God goes

"when the waves turn the minutes to hours?"
I have always liked this song.

I spent many years on the North Atlantic and a few on the Southern Ocean as well.The majority of my years have been spent at sea. I went to sea right out of high school and stayed at it so I could get extended periods of leave to spend in the back country. Newfoundland was a very hard spot to make a living. I stayed at it and got my Canadian Master Mariners license about 10 years ago. I sailed on mostly foreign flagged (not Canadian Flagged) out of mostly East Coast USA ports. I now teach Sea survival and Marine firefighting. I took the position so I could stay at home with my daughter and still take my fall off. I have been lucky to make a transition to a decent living ashore but sometime still miss the sea. I live in an older home with a great ocean view and we wake many nights with the house shaking and rattling in the winter storms. I sometimes miss the sea but not the nights "when the waves turn the minutes to hours"

I used to work 4 months on two months off. I use to leave my house in the dark to go to the airport to catch a flight to join a ship maybe in Newark,somewhere on the Delaware ,or Miami and I use to wonder each trip if I would return. I have lost friends on the North Atlantic and we have lost former students this year.
God bless all Mariners,Fishermen, and Offshore workers.

"Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours? "

Monday, November 9, 2009

Will you take me now!

They haven't been patient. My two dogs need a run

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Its Saturday afternoon and my quarters are hung and the weather is perfect for aging meat in the mid 30's F.

I had planned Thursday to head up country for a few days but the weather was calling for wind snow and rain. My daughter is still not 100% from her bout with the flu and the wind Thursday was out of the NW at 30mph with gusts to 45. I decided to make a mornings hunt as my wife had to leave for work at 11am so I wanted to be home for my daughter as she is still absent from school. I left at 5am and drove up a dirt road which leads to a lake on the boundary of a wilderness area and as the sky lightened I started walking up slowly to a cove that moose frequent. It was blowing a bit and I was walking through some dense tamarack (We locally call juniper)stands. There was fresh sign everywhere and I slowed down. I pushed through some juniper and got a start as I jumped a cow and calf. They headed straight away through the brush and I heard more cracking and crashing off to my right. I knew there was an open marsh to the right so I started after them. Moose will often circle when pursued or stop on the far side of the clearing. When I broke out on the marsh I saw a cow and a calf, a cow and two bulls. One bull was about 150 yards and he stopped and stepped broadside and just stood there. I used a 30-06 with 180 gr nosler partitions. When I pulled the trigger he staggered and turned and started to run. He went about 20 yards and I fired again and he piled up hard.The first one would have killed him the 2nd stopped him in his tracks. If you notice the picture from a day or so ago you can see his nose and half his rack is buried in the turf of the bog. It was pure luck no skill to find him and a child could have made the shot. The difficulty now came with dealing with him by myself. I always carry commercial fishing twine and used that to spread him out so I could clean him. I got his insides outside then went home arriving home about 10 am. My mother in law came to watch my daughter and I went back to quarter him and drag him to the lake. I got the 4 quarters to the lake at dark which is about 5pm and headed out along the shore. It was too windy for the canoe and dark so I hauled the quarters home Friday morning. Its a winters meat and I feel truly grateful for it. The hard part of moose hunting is not getting them down but getting them home. I honestly enjoy the work involved, I appreciate the meat more when I work for it. It wasn't a hard hunt but it was tough getting the quarters to the shore. I love moose and caribou hunting but when they are dead I feel both good/bad as I walk up to them. If I didn't "REALLY APPRECIATE" the meat I wouldn't pull the trigger

down the lake

I am taking the last two quarters out. I am happy here because if I didn't get him out it would be quite a few days before I would get back there because of the weather. If I was lugging the meat on my back I wouldn't have one quarter out yet. It was my own fault because I didn't pay enough mind to the weather. Anyway I am finally getting under the lee and was relaxing a bit here and feeling delighted

Meats out

I have the quarters hanging safely in my shed. I got up the lake yesterday just after daylight. I made two trips with the scanoe as it was blowing pretty good. After I landed the 2nd two quarters and got them aboard my truck the wind really started to howl.I made it home about 1030. Today I am resting my weary muscles and bones and doubting the wisdom of solitary moose hunting. I will post more about the hunt tomorrow, then its back to bird hunting. The best of it is is that I still have two more weeks off. I don't have to return to work until the 23rd. The best part of life is being outside

Friday, November 6, 2009

Moose Down

Sorry for poor picture. I will post the story tomorrow night. Its 2:41 am here now pretty tired, I just awoke. I shot him at first light Thursday morning. I was all day until dusk dragging the quarters to a lake where I can get him with my canoe and am going to get him shortly.( I hope) The forecast is calling for snow and wind mid morning but its clear now so with the moon I am going to get him in an hour or so. Light winds now but 50 mph forecast late this morning.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gun registry in trouble

Voting now on registry in Canada for long arms. Looks good

I am not keen on politics but I am big on individual freedoms. The Canadian long gun registry is in trouble. Looks good

Vote Carried to end registry. Small step in the right direction

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In early waiting for moose

I went in early yesterday morning. It was beautiful with the early morning moon.

I walked in on a ridge overlooking a few marshes by a fair size lake. (still called ponds in Newfoundland)
I saw some fresh sign but no animals. I came out early as I was still a little under the weather.It was though a beautiful morning, the pictures don't do it justice. On Thursday I am going to head up this lake with canoe,wall tent,cast iron pan and tin stove. I am going to put my camp where a brook runs into the lake on back of those islands. If you are on this ridge in a few more evenings you would see my evening fire. This is good moose country. It is on the opposite end of the same lake pictured in my last post

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Looking for moose

Well my daughter and I are getting over the flu we hope. We are both feeling better. I was well enough to get in the past day or so, but I stayed home to look after my daughter. I wouldn't let her go to Nan's house as I didn't want my mother to get the flu. Anyway she is feeling better and I am headed up tomorrow looking for a moose. My dogs will do a bit of complaining but I have put away the shotguns for the time being and will be out with the rifle.
The moose season runs until the first Saturday in January so I have lots of time. I have been out with my longbow and recurve but now I want the meat and hope to get a bull down so I can go back to getting my dogs out which is my big love outdoors. Don't get me wrong I love moose hunting but I miss my dogs. There is a big moose population here, actually we are supposed to have the densest population of moose in North Americ,a the problem is in getting one where you can deal with him especially when you hunt solo as I do. I hunt big lakes and then haul meat by boat or canoe.

The above pictures were taken within a half hour of each other. In one a caribou and calf are crossing and in the other a cow moose or calf are crossing. The photo's are a couple of years old. I intend to be at the same spot tomorrow at daylight. The way that I enjoy hunting moose and caribou mostly is through spot and stalk. I head in by canoe at daylight then if no animal is spotted I climb the hills and glass the surrounding countryside. You will see animals most days but the stalk is the challenge. If I didn't have the birdogs I would stick with the bow. I love hunting moose but love getting the dogs out more. Life is short the time that you can spend with a good dog is shorter still.